Wednesday, April 24, 2024

259 Boris Johnson
Mayor of London - City of London

Boris Johnson is the second directly elected Mayor London, the first city in the UK to have a directly elected Mayor, a position that was first created in 2000.

His mandate, having received over 1 million votes in the election in May 2008, is wider than that of the largely ceremonial and historic Lord Mayor of the City of London, a role which, however, is important from a finance centre point of view as the City of London maintains a brief to promote the interests of the geographically smaller central region of the ancient City of London, 'the City' and London as a global financial services centre.

This is illustrated in the long standing role of the City of London in promoting the centre, going back for decades, and involving campaigns such as the promotion of London as the host for the ECB, a role it lost to Frankfurt, largely influenced at the time by sterling's withdrawal from the EMS. Currently, London is involved in another potential turf war, as CEBS's secretariat is currently hosted there, and the new EU bank regulatory secretariat may move to a continental city such as Frankfurt, or Paris. The City of London was also instrumental in launching the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), the international survey which has consistently placed London in No 1 position as the leading ranked financial center, alongside, in some of its bi-annual surveys, New York.

That said, Boris Johnson has not been remiss in promoting London's attractions as a global financial services centre either. As an opposition politician prior to the UK general election he was able to use his position as a pivot to criticise Government policy on financial services, such as on the 'non doms' tax issue. However, he now has helpers in Westminster, (among them his old university colleague PM David Cameron) to promote the Conservative vision for London as a global financial centre.